Kid Rock is the subject of a lawsuit raised by a circus owner of the title of his 2018 tour. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have claimed that Rock and promoters Live Nation have breached the trademark they hold over the phrase “The greatest show on Earth.”

The wording was invented by renowned impresario P.T. Barnum, whose Barnum & Bailey circus merged with the Ringing Bros. World’s Greatest Show in 1919. The rights to the phrase are now held by Feld Entertainment, who describe it as “celebrated and valuable,” and who have licensed its use to a number of organizations.

“This historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros. for the past century, and it is recognized as a trusted and iconic brand of family-friendly entertainment,” said Kenneth Feld, CEO of the company. “The Greatest Show On Earth continues to live on and will do so well into the future. We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished.”

In a separate statement, Feld general counsel Lisa Joiner said: “We have authorized licensees for 'Ringling Bros.' and 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' but Kid Rock is not one of them," Feld Entertainment general counsel Lisa Joiner said in a statement. "Feld Entertainment was not contacted by Kid Rock (or anybody else on his behalf) regarding his use of Feld Entertainment’s trademark."

Rolling Stone reported that Live Nation do not comment on pending litigation, while Rock himself did not respond when asked for a quote. His tour starts on Jan. 19 in Nashville, TN and ends in Brownsville, OR on Aug. 19. He also plays the Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO on Dec. 31.

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